The Chicago Blackhawks announced today they have agreed to terms with goaltender Michael Leighton on a one-year extension, which runs through the end of the 2015-16 National Hockey League season.
Leighton, 34, posted a 22-13-4 record, 2.26 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and five shutouts with the Rockford IceHogs last season. He also posted a 4-3 record, 2.59 GAA and .919 SV% in eight playoff appearances with Rockford. Leighton was named the team’s Most Valuable Player for his efforts.
The Petrolia, Ontario native has 35 wins (35-41-14), a 2.97 GAA, a .901 SV% and four shutouts in 105 career NHL regular-season games over parts of eight seasons with the Blackhawks (2002-2004), Nashville (2006-07), Philadelphia (2006-07; 2009-13) and Carolina (2007-09). He owns an 8-4 record in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games and holds the NHL record for most shutouts in a postseason series (3 vs. MTL in 2010 Eastern Conference Final).
Leighton, originally drafted by the Blackhawks in the sixth round (165th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, appeared in 43 contests over two seasons with the club during his NHL debut, collecting eight wins (8-21-10). He was the franchise’s first goaltender to post a shutout in his NHL debut after doing so on Jan. 8, 2003 vs. Arizona.
Leighton is 118-105-4 in 249 career AHL regular-season games over 11 seasons with the Norfolk Admirals (2001-05), Rochester Americans (2005-06), Portland Pirates (2006-07), Philadelphia Phantoms (2006-07), Albany River Rats (2007-08), Adirondack Phantoms (2010-2013) and IceHogs (2014-15). Leighton’s 41 career shutouts are tied for second-most in AHL history, just four behind Johnny Bower’s 45 set from 1945-58.